Thursday, July 29, 2010
Better Know a Conference: The SEC
Welcome to Part II of Mighty's College Football 2010 Preview....up next - the SEC
Burning Question: Is Parity Dead in the SEC?
As Dr. Saturday notes, the SEC is no longer the murder's row of games. Alabama and Florida are 31-1 in the last 2 years against the SEC....which is historically abnormal. The SEC hasn't had a repeat champion since 1998 and before last year hadn't had the same teams repeat in the conference championship since 1994. This year is the perfect opportunity for the rest of the SEC to gain. Alabama lost 10 of 11 starters on defense. Florida lost more underclassmen than any other program in college football plus the Tebow child. And yet literally every single major preseason publication has Alabama and Florida rematching in the SEC Championship. In fact the only debate among prognosticators surrounds who will finish in 2nd in the SEC West. Apparently the mighty SEC is a glorified Big 12 of 2 dominant teams and then everybody else.
Biggest Non-Conference Games: Alabama v. Penn State, LSU v. UNC, Oregon v. Tennessee
1. Florida -
The Big story in Florida is the departure of Tebow and his replacement in the form of uber-heralded recruit John Brantley. Brantley was the #1 ranked pro passer his senior year and now as a Junior, pro scouts are already salivating at his arm strength. The defense will take a step back but the offense should hum along.
There was no particular reason for Georgia struggles into 2nd class status. Georgia is the best recruiting state next to the Big 3. Richt had won 2 SEC Championships and 6 straight 10 win seasons. Yet, the Bull dog fans are demanding Richt's head given that Florida has seized control of the SEC East. Oddly Richt is turning to ex-Browns defensive coordinator (Todd Grantham) to try to save his job.
3. South Carolina
If the old ball coach has any magic left this is the year. All the other SEC East foes seem to have serious question marks and SC returns the most veteran team of the bunch. However the defense seems to hold them back and this year will be no different.
Lane Kiffin left a smoking heap of rubble when he left. His vaunted recruiting class flamed out, Tennessee got their 5th choice to replace him, and nearly all the key positions have new faces. The Volunteers are a sheer mess.
Random Vandy fact, Vanderbilt's new coach is a former turkey inseminator.
It's a tale of 2 sides. 10 new starters for the defense but the offense returns nearly everybody. Look for Heisman winner Ingram share carries with Trent Richardson as many believe Richardson is more talented. Alabama has all-american quality at LT, C, WR, and QB (in addition to RB) so look look for high scoring from this fully armed and operational battlestation.
Ryan Mallet, formerly of Ann Arbor, is now the best QB in the SEC. By far. Arkansas will put up yards and points but their defense is a question mark. If anyone is to challenge the Big 2 it is Arkansas and crazy Houston McNutt. It could happen but wouldn't bet on it.
Under the radar Auburn is steadily improving. Their offense might be the best in the SEC (next to Alabama) and they had the best recruiting class last year (next to Florida). Look for a good bowl out of this bunch.
Oh Les Miles how you've fallen. LSU since winning it's national championship has sunk lower and lower. And the natives aren't happy. Poor QB play, poor line play, poor decision making, bad hygiene (I assume). Random Mighty predictions without 10 wins look for Miles to get Das Boot. And I'm not predicting 10 wins.
5. Ole Miss
6. Miss. St.
And in conclusion...random Christina Hendricks link